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  1. #1

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    Gotta take the plunge sooner or later, although machines and me don't get along too well.

    My composition student and I came to an arrangement that's been really eye-opening and inspiring: for a reduced lesson price he's transcribing all my music (that's a lot) onto Finale. I expect my songbook and other pieces will be published this year. It's also been a big help at rehearsals and gigs. Not one person has threatened to force-feed me my charts ever since.

    I have to wean myself off this guy---bless his soul---and start doing it. So what's a good starting place for a preternaturally impatient techno-simp like me? (I was thinking StaffPad b/c I like the idea of writing the notes right onto the screen, plus it has playback).

    Thanks in advance...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Musescore is free and can do a lot, certainly enough for lead sheets and small ensembles. Then there's Finale and Sibelius (which I personally use). You might easily never need anything more other than Musescore though.

    I used to write scores by hand, but.. the first time you'll write say a 4 horn score, then press "export parts" and have all the part charts transposed and printed.. It changes the way you look at arranging! And if using a midi keyboard, arrangements are almost writing themselves..

    You can learn everything by watching YouTube videos, but the easiest and fastest way is to find a friend that uses the program, and spend an afternoon going through it together..

  4. #3

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    MuseScore keeps getting better and better. I use to use Sibelius, but the price left me packing. MuseScore being free makes it convenient to share with friends and students. You give a student a piece of music and email the file where he could load it to MuseScore on his computer to hear the piece.

    Even though it's free, MuseScore is by no means a toy.

    Check it out (it's just midi sounds but you get the idea of what it can do here). Hit the play button up near the top left of the screen: Jump Up Super Star Big Band for Jazz Band Sheet music for Clarinet, Piano, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone | Download free in PDF or MIDI | Musescore.com

    And a simple lead sheet: All Of Me Sheet music for Piano | Download free in PDF or MIDI | Musescore.com

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    MuseScore keeps getting better and better. I use to use Sibelius, but the price left me packing. MuseScore being free makes it convenient to share with friends and students. You give a student a piece of music and email the file where he could load it to MuseScore on his computer to hear the piece.

    Even though it's free, MuseScore is by no means a toy.

    Check it out (it's just midi sounds but you get the idea of what it can do here). Hit the play button up near the top left of the screen: Jump Up Super Star Big Band for Jazz Band Sheet music for Clarinet, Piano, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone | Download free in PDF or MIDI | Musescore.com

    And a simple lead sheet: All Of Me Sheet music for Piano | Download free in PDF or MIDI | Musescore.com
    Doesn't sound bad at all. I have it already, but I'm f'ing lazy! Time to change...

  6. #5
    My friend Glenn, a terrific composer who always wrote by hand (and still does initial charts that way) got Finale maybe 20 years ago. He showed it to his landlord---a computer brainiac. The guy watched one of the more sophisticated moves and was blown away---said 'this is some high-powered stuff I'm seeing'.

    James Chirillo----also an aces writer---has Sibelius and swears by it (even though he has some of the best handwriting I've ever seen, and used to make money copying).

    The thing that puts me off of both of those is having to use a computer or pianistic keyboard. It's that middle step that bypasses the tactile writing right on a page---which is what attracts me more to StaffPad, though it's probably not as good as those in most ways.

    I'm old-school and resistant, but ready to change. I like Jerry Seinfeld's reasoning for writing his jokes by hand on legal paper: 'It feels like I'm painting'. If I could only get a little of that feeling, along with the obvious advantages of the software...

  7. #6

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    I have G7, an older dumbed down guitar player version of Sibelius.

    But, recently I switched to Musescore and I'm not looking back.

    I'm not sure if it's actually easier to use than Sibelius, but it certainly isn't any harder. My impression is that some things are more intuitive.

    I haven't had to spend much time trying to figure out how to do things -- which is a common complaint among notation software users.

    I've done lead sheets and 4 horn arrangements. Today, I dashed off (30 minutes maybe) a piano montuno (two staves) and a melody part (third stave). Played it back with the metronome on and it sounded great.

    Pet Peeve: The R key doesn't work unless the note is highlighted in Entry mode. And, then, you have to press it twice. In G7 if you had a note selected and pressed R you got another one of the same note. Select and one keystroke -- every time.

    That said, this is a fine product and it's free.

  8. #7
    Think I'll get off my lazy ass and try Musescore---inches from my head as an icon as I type---and also look into StaffPad.

    Thank you all!

  9. #8

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    off your ass and try band in a box next...heres Jimmy Bruno soloing with it..

  10. #9

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    Jimmy Bruno




    that was the iphone.. I typed in the chords to Blue Bossa.. I forget what the app is called ... maybe Irealbook...haha could have fooled me..

  11. #10

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    +1 on MuseScore

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Check it out (it's just midi sounds but you get the idea of what it can do here). Hit the play button up near the top left of the screen: Jump Up Super Star Big Band for Jazz Band Sheet music for Clarinet, Piano, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone | Download free in PDF or MIDI | Musescore.com
    No guitar in that big band score??? Boooo!

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by voxsss
    off your ass and try band in a box next...heres Jimmy Bruno soloing with it..
    So, I wonder if Jimmy died in China from coronavirus?

  14. #13

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    The new hotness in the music-notation world is Dorico, which just released a free version for beginners: Dorico SE.

    Adrian

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    No guitar in that big band score??? Boooo!
    I know. Makes us guitar players feel like lower class citizens.
    I did play in a big band way back in the day. And some of the time I would just be handed a piano chart they had chord symbols. If you write chord symbols with slashes, musescore doesn't play anything , so to get a guitar part to actually play you have to notate it, that's just the way it is and that's a lot of extra work

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh
    The new hotness in the music-notation world is Dorico, which just released a free version for beginners: Dorico SE.

    Adrian
    I had Steinberg's CuBase back in '95. I guess it was as good as anything else back then. I didn't use it much---not for any reason having to do w/the software.

    What I remember: extraordinary customer service---they really cared, and if you had issues a rep would actually come to your home! (I still remember the guy's name: Fadie Hyack (sp?). Try that today. Good luck...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianh
    The new hotness in the music-notation world is Dorico, which just released a free version for beginners: Dorico SE.

    Adrian
    One of the limitations of the free version is that you can only have two "players". I assume that means two instruments. Fine for leadsheets. I couldn't tell if piano (with two staves, treble and bass) counts for both players or if you can then have a third stave.